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Report on Building Inspections following the Great East Japan Earthquake

Thu, Apr 14, 2011
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Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, there are some damages in Waseda University buildings, and these damages have caused inconveniences for educational and research activities taking place at the university’s facilities.

Since the Earthquake, we have been inspecting the damage situation and safety of buildings on all Waseda campuses. As classes will start on May 6 and our students and faculty members will return to our campuses for their studies and research, we would like to announce the current status of Waseda University buildings.

First of all, it is our understanding that the safety inspections must be conducted from three standpoints: 1) Structural safety of buildings suffering damage that may lead to collapse of the building itself; 2) safety of non-structural components (walls, ceilings, etc.) that will not lead to collapse but which may, depending on the circumstances, require restrictions on facility use; and 3) safety of bookshelves and other furnishings that will not lead to any damage to the building itself but could fall over or collapse. The following presents currently available (as of April 11) results of inspections conducted from each of these three standpoints including the status of certain buildings on which entry restrictions have been imposed.

Please be advised that Details concerning the Status of Individual Buildings are currently being prepared and will be announced separately.

With the exception of certain buildings (note 1) currently undergoing inspection, it is confirmed that no buildings suffered significant structural damage from the earthquake. Although some buildings have damages that will require minor repairs, in general, all have retained their pre-earthquake structural intensity and remain suitable for use.

We will continue to conduct follow-up structural safety inspections to further ensure building safety.

Cracking and other damages were found in walls, ceilings, and other non-structural components of buildings. For buildings in which no safety problems were found, no usage restrictions will be imposed, although repairs will be made as required. However, instances of falling ceiling mortar (used as a finishing material) were discovered in certain buildings (note 2). Use of these buildings will be restricted until countermeasures including anti-fall ceiling works are completed.

To all users of the affected facilities, we apologize for any inconveniences caused during the periods of the repair works and entry restrictions, and would like to ask for kind understanding and cooperation.

Many instances of falling bookshelves and other furnishings occurred, particularly in faculty offices and other rooms/facilities in tall buildings. It was discovered from the inspections that fall-prevention measures were not sufficiently implemented in many of these instances, of which specific locations will be announced in Details concerning the Status of Individual Buildings. We will conduct more detailed investigation for these facilities as well as all other faculty offices and rooms in which bookshelves and other furnishings did not fall during the Earthquake, and then implement fundamental countermeasures based on the results.

Note 1 Kikuicho Campus: Building No. 41-3 Tokorozawa Campus: 4th-floor bridge, S Wing, Building No. 100

Note 2 Toyama Campus: Building No. 37 (Memorial Hall) Waseda University Senior High School: Building No. 73 (Auditorium)

(No entry restrictions are currently imposed at campuses and facilities not mentioned below.)

Toyama Campus:

Building No. 37 (Memorial Hall) Reason: Falling ceiling mortar Countermeasures: Anti-fall ceiling work (scheduled to continue until May 5)

Connecting bridge between Building Nos. 38 and 32 and underneath the bridge Reason: Warping of the bridge Countermeasures: Bridge scheduled to be temporarily removed by May 5; currently under study on restoration plan

Kikuicho Campus

Building No. 41-3 Reason: Currently under inspection by specialists Confirmation of safety will take time due to the building’s brick structure.

Tokorozawa Campus

4th-floor bridge, S Wing, Building No. 100 Reason:Currently under inspection by specialists

Waseda University Senior High School

Building No. 73 (Auditorium) Reason: Falling ceiling mortar Countermeasures:Currently under study


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